Discovering travel adventures closer to home has been a common trend for many of us during the last year and a half. For me personally, the pandemic has redefined what travel means. Once upon a time, my wanderlust could only be filled by trips that involved long flights, layovers, and being as far as possible from home. I have now learned that travel is a state of mind, no matter where I am.
Our latest family trip to Greenville, South Carolina, is something that would have never happened pre-pandemic. I would have easily written off this destination, which is just about 4-hours from Raleigh, NC, as too similar and not worth the effort. I now know that it is definitely worth the effort and what a loss it would have been to never visit it.
What made Greenville fun for us is that we chose to stay in the city center (downtown) which is bustling with lots of action and things to do. Our three days and three nights were easily filled with good food, lots of walking, and people watching. Holiday decorations, mom and pop stores, the river-walk, and the mountains, all made the whole trip extra charming.
In case you want to explore Greenville in your future travels, here are my recommendations:
Springhill Suites in downtown Greenville is probably one of the fanciest hotels I have stayed at in a while. I was so surprised with the service, the décor, the quality, the room size, and amenities. I mean really surprised. Our studio suite had two queen beds and a queen pull out sofa bed, along with a small kitchenette, a large closet, a large bathroom, and a very nice view. The location is ideal to exploring Main Street, Riverwalk, and several parks and neighborhoods in city center.
All of these places were kid friendly and all offered outdoor scenic seating.
Tandem Creperie and Coffeehouse (in the town of Traveler’s Rest on the way to Paris Mountain)
Pizza take out – Belladina’s Pizza
Thai take out – Basil Thai
Pangea Brewing -Brewery and Taproom
Swamp Rabbit Trail and the Children’s Garden under the bridge (We would have liked to bike the whole 22-miles but saving it for when the kids are older)
Ice Rink on Main – seasonal
Mice on Main self guided scavenger hunt (we found 5 of 9; very exciting)
Walk through Vintage Now Modern
Paris Mountain – Sulphur Springs trail is easy with kids
Greenville Zoo (1-mile walk along the river from downtown) (has a great playground outside)
Explore town of Traveler’s Rest: so cool and so small